Friday, January 30, 2009

January 30, 2009 News


LA Observed has latest disturbing details here with links to earlier reports. Bottom line is more layoffs and folding the California section into the main news section.


New layoffs earlier this week at Variety, including our friend Phil Gallo plus Mike Jones, Alys Marshall, Andrew Barker, Byron Perry, Lisa Weinstein, Martha Hernandez, Diane Garrett, Ben Fritz, Anne Thompson and Jeff Sneider More details from LA Observed.


From Cision:

The Daily Endorsement is a new pop culture blog written by the editors of Esquire magazine. The blog… features picks and pans of new ideas, links, products and services chosen by bloggers Matt Sullivan, Tim Heffernan, and Sammy Davis.

Also from Cision:

Gustavo Arellano is now the host of the radio show Four O'Clock Tuesdays with Gustavo Arellano on KPFK-FM. The show focuses on local news and issues in Southern California.

Thanks to Omar Cunningham of Mannfolk PR for the tip that Domino Magazine is closing. The following is from the New York Times:

This new reality has gripped the publishing industry as well. In just the last three months, the magazines Cottage Living, Country Home and O at Home have folded. Now Domino, a four-year-old title that had grown to a readership of more than 800,000, has become the eighth major home design magazine to cease publication since November 2007 — when Condé Nast shocked many in the industry by shuttering another of its home magazines, the 106-year-old House & Garden.


Bob Thomas, just retired from FORE Magazine but still fervently covering classical music at his blog.


Rick Orlov for his thorough reporting.

(Though that should be a given for journalists, it's been my experience this past week that one of the nation's highest level national media outlets -- not a newspaper, not a radio or tv outlet, not even a blog -- was guilty over and over again of biased and inaccurate coverage of one of my clients that had to be updated and corrected several times. Which makes writers like Rick all the more appreciated.)


"It's Always the Publicist's Fault, Right?" Department

Not that I know all the facts, but I disagree with Nikki Finke's assessment that bad pr counsel is the real problem at the Motion Picture and Television Fund closing some of its facilities. Isn't it always SO easy to blame the publicist? Read about it here.

"Well, Sometimes it is the Publicist's Fault" Department

Read this on Sharon Waxman's blog about the film critic who'd had it with an overly persistent publicist.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January 21, 2009 News

I'm a bit behind in posting, what with the holiday Monday and the wonderful events of Tuesday, but here you go, definitely in no particular order.

This tip came yesterday from Omar Cunningham, Mannfolk PR:

Just got an email from one of the editors here in LA office of TEEN that the magazine has folded, effective immediately.

More layoffs from last week:

Jim Farber, features writer, Daily Breeze
Andy Klein, film critic, LA City Beat

According to Fishbowl LA, the Weekly killed Robert Abele TV column, but he will still freelance for them and others.

With regard to ongoing arts writer layoffs, the Geffen, CTG and Pasadena Playhouse artistic directors put out a statement "decrying the decline in voices and calling on the arts community to keep the conversation going," according to the LA Times Culture Monster blog. Read all about it here.

And keep Steven Leigh Morris on your lists with same contact information. He's LA Weekly Theatre Critic at Large. His loss (full-time job, benefits) is our gain (still a great theatre reviewer covering theatre). Isn't corporate greed wonderful?

On that same subject, check out some action underway by the LA Stage Alliance, which Morris writes about here.

Change can happen, though – check out this cool video, and congratulations to our new President!

Writer extraordinaire Julie Riggott debuted her new Arts Los Angeles blog with this announcement:

So far, I've got posts about LA Opera, movies, sculptor Robert Graham and the LA Phil. Check it out and let me know what you think. Also, be sure to add my email address to your press release list. (Some of you already have, so I have a lot of great ideas for future posts.) If you like what you read, spread the word to others who have arts events to share.

Reach her via email, with jariggott.

From Gary Scott's blog:

Los Angeles Daily Journal entertainment reporter Noah Barron sent his colleagues an e-mail... announcing that Jan. 28 will be his last day on the job. Barron's departure comes roughly a month after associate editor Alan Mittelstaedt quit.

Thanks to the intrepid Lucy Pollak for passing on the info that Adam Pockross is current What's On editor at The Argonaut. His email is whatson.

Indie103.1 is no more, replaced by "a format called "El Gato" -- playing regional Mexican rhythmic and cumbia music." Full story at the Franklin Avenue blog.

Thanks to PRNewser for the link to's article titled No-Cost Resources for PR Pros: Top 10 Email Newsletters, 6 Content-Rich Sites, Popular Blogs. I won't hold it against them that this blog wasn't included.

Lesley Balla departs as editor of, and Ben Leventhal replaces her (his @curbedla address is bl).

Lesley's new gig in her own words, follows:

I will be the editor of Tasting Table LA, a new daily email newsletter launching in February. My new role begins Jan. 26.

Why I'm most excited: I'm still all about the LA dining scene, the food, drinks, events, the people. But what you get is one tasty little tidbit directly to your inbox highlighting the best of the city--first-hand recommendations, trends, dishes, recipes, cocktails, wine, chefs, tastemakers, and reviews of new hot spots or timeless classics. There's even a little space for news and goss...we'll cover it all. It's like a trusted friend tipping you off to something new and fabulous, which has always been my role anyway. To get a feel for Tasting Table, check out the New York site.

More importantly: Sign up for Tasting Table LA now and be the first to get it when we launch on Feb. 16. And then PLEASE tell all of your friends!

Her address is lesba.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

January 12, 2009 News

You're surely heard the bad news already about LA Weekly's layoffs of Theatre Critic Steven Leigh Morris and Film Critic Ella Taylor. Morris' exit column is here.

LA Observed ran this on Friday:

Word, unconfirmed, out of 1st and Spring is that Metromix Los Angeles is shutting down — the Tribune pub's staff will merge with the staff of The Guide at the L.A. Times and a print section of some kind will still be put in those boxes located in sufficiently young and upscale parts of town. Dean Kuipers, editor of The Guide, will oversee the merged operation and Deb Vankin, currently Metromix editor, will run the paper section. Chris Barton is tagged with running the web side.

And though the LA Times has excised Al Martinez's column (again), you can keep up with him here and/or complain to the LA Times Readers Rep at of course: readers.rep

Brad Munson replaces Karen Apostolina as Verdugo Monthly editor.

From Cision:

Gabriel Kahn is the new bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal's Los Angeles bureau. He replaces Bruce Orwall, who recently moved to the London office to become their new bureau chief.


West Coast fashion editor Hellin Kay was recently laid off from Women's Wear Daily as a part of staff cuts affecting the Los Angeles, Dallas, Boston and London bureaus. Replacements are not expected to be named.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

January 9, 2009 News

Congratulations to my good friend Kitty Felde, who is

heading east to open the first Washington bureau of any public radio station in the country. [KPCC's, that is]

LA Observed has the whole story.

Perhaps I could have been the first to break this news to the blog-o-sphere if only I had actually opened Kitty and Tad's Christmas letter when it arrived in my in box the other day. What a poor friend I am. Kitty – it won't be the same without you, but there's no person more deserving of this opportunity. Big, big congratulations!

MORE layoffs at Daily News; Gary Scott's blog has these names and more info:

Tyrone Harris, editorial assistant
Gregg Miller, graphics
Roger Vargo, photo/pre-pressing
Patrick O'Connor, editorial cartoonist
Steve Dilbeck, sports columnist
Jammie Salugabang, features copy editor/online
Stewart Slavin, copy/slot editor
Simone Trimm, editorial assistant in features

These layoffs, too, from Gary Scott about the Daily Breeze, and he also has Press Telegram, SGV Tribune, San Bernadino Sun and other LANG papers' layoff names.

Bruce Hazelton, photographer
Andrea Hayashi, administrative assistant for features

This from LA Observed:

Blogger spins off: Julia Scott writes the Bargain Hunter shopping blog for the Daily News and will continue to do so, but posts that she has "created my own personal finance blog that is edgier and more personal than the Bargain Hunter. I'm going to use it for posts that are not appropriate for the LA Daily News. It's called Bargain Hunter Babe."

Broadcasting & Cable reports this:

Twentieth Television will not renew The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, its syndicated morning talk show, said Bob Cook, president and chief operating officer of Twentieth on Thursday morning… Original episodes of the show will continue to be produced through June 2009, and it will go off the air next fall.

Monday, January 5, 2009

January 5, 2009 News

Yes, I've succumbed to Twitter. Follow me if you like.

Sad news – long-time KUSC radio broadcaster Gene Parrish passed away at age 82 on Friday. Here's his bio on KUSC's web site.

Not sure when this happened, don't use mail much anymore, but the Glendale News Press is now located at 221 N. Brand Blvd., 2nd Floor, Glendale 91203.

Harriette Smith asks that we mention her blog, for those who don't yet know about it, previewing films and theatre .

Did you notice that Harold Pinter's LA Times obit in December was written by Mary Rourke and contributed to by Don Shirley, two people who no longer work at the paper?